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Pearls of the South and West - Winter

(10 days / 9 nights)

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See the gems of Iceland in dazzling winter white

This self-drive tour takes you to some of the top highlights of West Iceland, as well as the magical Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the scenic south coast. Along with a chance to view the amazing northern lights phenomenon, your journey also allows you to experience natural wonders like glaciers, volcanic beaches, waterfalls, hot springs and other incredible sights in all their winter glory.

Looking for the summer version of this tour?

Type

Self-Drive

Interest

Classic, Northern Lights

Season

1 Oct - 30 Apr

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

1442/886 km/mi

Price p. p. from

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Itinerary

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

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  • Day 1: Welcome to Reykjavik

    On arrival to Keflavik Airport, you will be greeted by a driver who will take you to your accommodation in Reykjavík. After settling in, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the vibrant city centre and its many museums, restaurants and bars for all tastes. If you're interested in checking out Icelandic design or experiencing the city's thriving coffee culture, head to the main street, Laugavegur, to enjoy its various shops and cosy cafes.

    Spend the night in central Reykjavik.

    Highlights Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity
  • Day 2: Magical Snæfellsnes Peninsula

    Collect the rental car and begin your journey to Snæfellsjökull National Park on Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The main attraction here without a doubt is the 1446m (4745 ft) glacier-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano, said to be one of Earth’s seven major energy centres and the setting of Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

    Spend the night on Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

    Driving distance approx. 180 km / 112 mi.

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  • Day 3: History, Hot Springs & Waterfalls

    Explore West Iceland today. If you‘re interested in Iceland‘s early history, visit the Icelandic Settlement Centre exhibition in the town of Borgarnes, or for a close up look at the island‘s geothermal power, check out the largest hot spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver. Nearby you can also pay a visit to the beautiful Barnafoss and Hraunfossar waterfalls, where water spills from the lava field.

    History or Nordic literature buffs may also find it worthwhile to stop at the medieval research institution of Snorrastofa at Reykholt, where Snorri Sturluson wrote the Saga Heimskringla in the 13th century.

    Spend the night in the Borgarnes area.

    Driving distance approx. 263 km / 164 mi.

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  • Day 4: Wonders of the Golden Circle

    Today your journey takes you to some of the best-known natural phenomena in Iceland, on what is commonly called the "Golden Circle". The first stop on this popular route in south-western Iceland is Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its natural beauty, unique geology and historical significance. Other attractions on your drive include the frequently bursting Strokkur geyser at the Geysir geothermal area, the Kerið implosion crater and the Gullfoss waterfall—an especially majestic sight in the wintertime.

    Spend the night in the Selfoss area.

    Driving distance approx. 142 km / 89 mi.

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  • Day 5: The Scenic South Coast

    Start the day with a visit to the beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can follow a path behind its misty cascade. The next waterfall you will see, Skógafoss, is just as impressive in its winter coat and also has a trail running alongside it up the hill. Nearby is the Skógar Folk Museum, where we recommend exploring the old turf farm or checking out the historical exhibits inside. Further along at the Sólheimajökull glacier, you will have the chance to take part in a guided glacier hike (optional)—a great adventure to end this exciting day!

    Spend the night in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur/Skaftafell area.

    Driving distance approx. 237 km / 148 mi.

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  • Day 6: Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park

    Take your time and enjoy Skaftafell, part of the immense Vatnajökull National Park and a place of great natural beauty. Here you’ll find many interesting hiking trails, including one that leads to the Svartifoss waterfall and its unique basalt columns that resemble organ pipes. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, join a guided glacier hike or ice climbing excursion (optional). 

    Spend another night in the Skaftafell area.

    Driving distance approx. 71 km / 44 mi.

    Highlights Optional Activity
  • Day 7: Floating Icebergs at Jökulsárlón

    Head to the amazing Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, by far one of Iceland‘s most popular sights. This incredible maze of floating icebergs is a photographer’s dream, and you can sometimes even see curious seals swimming around. Later in the evening, if the skies are clear, you may even see another equally amazing natural wonder—the northern lights.*

    Spend another night in the Skaftafell area.

    Driving distance approx. 129 km / 80 mi.

    *Please note that the northern lights are a natural phenomenon, so sightings cannot be guaranteed.

    Highlights Optional Activity
  • Day 8: Hidden Gems & Volcanic Beaches

    Your journey today takes you back along the south coast towards Vík, giving you an opportunity to spend some more time exploring the attractions you already passed or visiting some of the lesser-known gems like the “elf cliffs” at Dverghamrar or the Landbrotshólar pseudo-craters. We also recommend checking out the volcanic black sand beach south of Vík, where you can see the dramatic rock formations of Reynisdrangar and Dyrhólaey-a stunning sight by the light of the setting sun.  

    Spend the night in the Vík area.

    Driving distance approx. 140 km / 87 mi.

    Highlights Highlights Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity
  • Day 9: Reykjanes peninsula & Blue Lagoon

    Continue to the volcanic wonderland of Reykjanes Peninsula. The highlight of this day is a visit to the Blue Lagoon*, a geothermal spa surrounded by lava formations—an especially unique experience in the winter! Here you can relax in the steam rooms and saunas or soak in the warm, bright blue mineral waters, which are to have therapeutic effects. Relaxing in-water massages are also available (optional; advanced pre-booking recommended).

    End the day back in Reykjavik. After returning the rental car, make the most of your last evening with a fine dinner at one of the city’s gourmet restaurants.

    Spend the night in central Reykjavik.

    Driving distance approx. 260 km / 162 mi.

    Due to renovations the Blue Lagoon is closed from the 24th through the 27th of April 2017 (both days included).

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  • Day 10: Departure

    Transfer by shuttle bus to Keflavík International Airport in time for your departure flight. If you leave in the afternoon, you can do some last minute shopping at some of Reykjavik´s charming boutiques or visit one of the city’s many interesting museums.

    Please be advised that daylight is limited in Iceland during the winter months, with about 4-5 hours of daylight during the holidays, from December to January. Winter in Iceland is considered to be from October to April. 

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Map

Here’s a map of Iceland, to help put things in perspective.

Reviews

We don’t like to brag, so we’ll let our happy customers do it for us.

Janet, United Kingdom

Pearls of the South and West - Winter, April 2016

We could relax and enjoy the holiday

Pretty much everything was of a higher standard than we expected. We enjoyed out trip to Iceland very much and felt we made the right choice booking through Nordic visitor. Having everything organised for us meant we could relax and enjoy the holiday. We liked that you tailored the trip to meet our requirements. We have already been recommending you to friends and would have no hesitation in booking a trip through your company again.

Gary and Kerry, United Kingdom

Pearls of the South and West - Winter, November 2015

I wish Iceland was my home

The hotels gave 110% i couldn't have asked for more. The people where so helpful, friendly and knowledgeable of their area of both road conditions, the sights especially the local gems. I so wish Iceland was my home.

Alexandra and Travis, Canada

Pearls of the South and West - Winter, January 2016

Amazing adventure!

Map provided (with all stops/routes highlighted) was awesome! Also a great souvenir. Had an amazing adventure. Can't wait to go back to Iceland and do the whole circle drive.

Wallace, United States

Pearls of the South and West - Winter, November 2015

Quality and variety

We enjoyed both the quality and variety of accommodations in our program. We were particularly happy that we chose guesthouses rather than hotels because it gave us more extended contact with locals on a personal basis.

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Accommodation

Sleep soundly, in the accommodation type of your choice, and wake up ready to enjoy another day of exploration.

Budget

Rooms with shared WC and shower (or bath) in farmhouses, guesthouses or well-appointed hostels. All provide breakfast (i..

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Comfort

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three-star hotel or well-appointed guesthouse. All provide breakfast (in..

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Quality

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three- or four-star hotel or the best accommodation available in the are..

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Rental car

Enjoy the journey, with authorization for two drivers and free GPS in the rental car of your choice.

Ford Focus
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • M

Ford Focus
or similar

  • Type: B
  • Description: Compact hatchback
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Ford Focus Wagon
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • M

Ford Focus Wagon
or similar

  • Type: C
  • Description: Compact wagon
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Ford Mondeo
or similar

  • x5
  • x4
  • x4
  • A

Ford Mondeo
or similar

  • Type: D
  • Description: Mid-size sedan
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Kuga AWD
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Ford Kuga AWD
or similar

  • Type: E
  • Description: Compact SUV, all-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Edge AWD
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Ford Edge AWD
or similar

  • Type: F
  • Description: Mid-size SUV, all-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x5
  • A

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

  • Type: G
  • Description: Full-size SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Volvo XC90 AWD
limited availability

  • x6
  • x5
  • x6
  • A

Volvo XC90 AWD
limited availability

  • Type: H
  • Description: Full-size Premium SUV, all-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Suitcases: 6/3
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

  • x6
  • x5
  • x2
  • M

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

  • Type: J
  • Description: Highland SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Luggage: 4/2
  • Doors: 2/4 to 6
  • Transmission: Manual

Optional activities

This is your trip, what are you interested in doing?

Everything about this tour

Booking
  • For added safety and comfort, we highly recommend selecting a 4x4 vehicle type for winter.
  • We recommend booking at least three weeks prior to departure.
  • This package can be customized to meet your needs, and extra nights can be added on request. Contact us for details.
  • Day 9 option: Spend a night near the Blue Lagoon instead of Reykjavik and return the rental car at Keflavik International Airport on your departure day (arranged by request and at an additional cost; contact us for details). 
Other
 
Currency rate
All bookings are charged in Icelandic Króna (ISK), the official currency of Iceland. Prices displayed in other currencies are indicative only and based on the daily exchange rate as issued by the Central bank of Iceland. Therefore, conversions from ISK to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day.
 
After booking with Nordic Visitor
After booking your package with Nordic Visitor, you will be contacted within two working days by one of our travel consultants, who will serve as your dedicated contact person for all of your travel needs before, during and even after your holiday. Your travel consultant will provide you with details about your booking and your remaining payment (if not paid in full). You will also receive more information about what to expect during your holiday.

We are here to help

Whether you have a single question or a special request, we're here for you.